What Are the Guidelines for Deviating from Child Support?

What Are the Guidelines for Deviating from Child Support?

Oregon maintains a set of child support guidelines meant to ensure children of divorced or separated parents each contribute to the financial welfare of their child. The state believes that each parent should share in the cost of raising and providing for their child, and child support agreements are typically set to follow these state-wide guidelines. However, there are certain circumstances where parents may deviate from these set rules because, for their situation, it would be better for the child if they committed to different rules.

In Oregon, child support is determined according to the rules set in Oregon Administrative Rules 137-050-0710. These guidelines determine that child support shall be decided based on:

  • Each parent’s income
  • Each parent’s mandatory union due
  • Whether either parent has any non-joint children
  • The costs of child care
  • How much time the child spends with each parent
  • The out-of-pocket health insurance costs for the child and the providing parent
  • Collection of Social Security or veteran’s benefits

The state court will always do what it deems is best for the child. Evaluating the above factors is often the most straightforward way to determine how to financially support the child. According to the guidelines, the parent who primarily cares for the child, or the one whom the child spends more over-night time with, will typically be paid support by the less involved parent. The number of overnights each parent shares with the child plays a significant factor in determining the required financial distribution.

However, there may be special circumstances where parents may deviate from the rules.

Financial Hardship

If one parent is experiencing financial hardships, it is possible to have their support payments reduced or temporarily halted. Examples of financial hardship must be evident and serious, such as a medical emergency, or extreme travel costs in cases where the parent lives far away from the child.

Changing Needs of the Child

If the child’s needs have changed it is also possible the parents can deviate from the guidelines. A special needs child may require additional attention and care, often financially. In some circumstances, it is possible one parent may need to care for the child full-time and be unable to work. Or, the financial need of the child may have significantly decreased for some other reason, which may justify a decrease in payments.

Other reasons for exceptions include, but are not limited to:

  • Evidence of other resources or expenses
  • A financial advantage from a spouse or partner
  • Unemployment
  • The child attending school elsewhere and therefore no longer living in either parent’s home
  • Certain tax advantages or setbacks

If you are seeking a modification to child support or think you may have good reason to qualify for a deviation from Oregon’s set guidelines, reach out to our attorneys. At McKinley Irvin, we are highly experienced in working with parents and families who seek to negotiate fair child support agreements. We can help you understand the child support laws in Oregon and determine legal solutions for your situation.

Contact McKinley Irvin family lawyers in Oregon to discuss your child support agreements and possible deviation from state guidelines.